Poll concludes Facebook still not secure

According to the survey, which was conducted by Sophos, 95% of those polled do not believe that Facebook is doing enough to stop them.

The attacks – dubbed "likejacking" by Sophos' senior technology consultant Graham Cluley – exploit the 'like' button facility by automatically updating a user's Facebook page to say that they 'like' a third-party webpage.

This update, says Sophos, is automatically shared with the user's Facebook friends via the website's newsfeed, helping the attacks to spread rapidly across the social network.

According to Cluley, the latest widespread attack struck Facebook users earlier this week, tricking them into 'liking' a webpage entitled '101 Hottest Women in the World' with a picture of Jessica Alba.

Although the attacks are yet to deliver malicious payloads, Sophos says they demonstrate an exploitable weakness in the way that Facebook works, putting users at potential risk from further malware or phishing attacks.

"Facebook clearly hasn't been security-conscious enough in the implementation of its social 'like' plugin. This leaves the system open to abuse by spammers and scammers, and exposes users to the risk of outside threats", said Cluley.

"One solution would be for Facebook to implement ways for members to make a more conscious decision as to whether they want to 'like' third party content or not. By having a pop-up box asking whether users are sure they want to 'like' a particular page, or offering the option to disable the third-party 'like' feature entirely, the spread of these attacks would be much easier to control", he added.

Cluley went on to say that Facebook needs to set up a proper early-warning system to alert users about breaking threats. "It seems wrong that the only place where Facebook users can read about the latest attacks is on the pages run by security vendors on Facebook, rather than Facebook's own security pages", he noted.

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